Less than a week and half to go and now I'm just tying up all the loose ends and waiting and waiting.

The biggest thing on my mind is getting everything packed. I did a trial run and failed horribly. I'm going to try again Friday on my day off, and this time with those vacuum sealed travel bags. The ones you suck all the air out of? I've heard they work wonders, so we'll see what I can do.

I've also been gathering teaching stuffs. I raided the local hotel for brochures and maps and things like that, which was kind of fun. I've also gotten a few take-out menus, though I don't know if I'll actually take them, since the places I eat at tend to have half the menu in something other than English. For example, I thought Olive Garden would be a nice example. Nope, most all the dishes are in Italian. Same problem with Chipotle, only in Spanish. So that might not work. But I am taking a couple Dr. Seuss books, which I think will be fun for the kids to have. I want to get some Monopoly money or something, too, but we'll see.

Other than that, I've just been working as long as possible, trying to bulk up that bank account. I have four days left of work, which is actually quite exciting. Sorry the the long quiet spell, but I'm sure things will start to pick up soon. It's so close now!
So this time when I got a phone call at work, I was able to dash into a fitting room and hand my operator duties off to a coworker. Unfortunately, I kept my pen and while I was fiddling with it, I accidentally dropped it, tried to catch it, then stabbed my palm. Enough to draw blood. Meanwhile, I'm trying to carry on a conversation. Yeah.

But as for the conversation itself, I got a bit more information about my placement. I'll be at one junior high for sure, and possibly one elementary school. This makes me really happy, because I like getting to know my students, and not having a million schools will be very conducive to that.

Also, I'll be in a Leopalace! I figured I would be, since other Hitachi placements were saying they were in Leopalaces. They're small, but not shoeboxes, and they're mostly furnished, with internet already set up and ready to go (which is important to me, haha).

Here's a very short Japanese commercial for Leopalace that gives a brief look. I'll make a video of my own place once I'm settled and all that jazz.

I'm happy to report that I am tuberculosis free. :) And the whole process was very easy. I made an appointment on Friday, and basically went in, got pricked with a needle, and left. The doctor didn't even charge me for a visit, just for the injection, and I got a discount since I didn't have insurance. So that cost all of $12. Then today I went back to get the injection site read, and I'm good to go. Some people mentioned they had red spot and that was supposed to happen, but mine was completely clear. You couldn't even see where they stuck me with a needle. That made me a little nervous, but from what I understand, if the redness is under a certain diameter, that means you're fine. I don't know. And yes that's a lousy picture, but the flash kept whiting out the paper and I couldn't be bothered to find better lighting.

So now, all that's left is to pack. I'm going to put in my notice at my current job tomorrow. And that's pretty much it. I still have a little shopping to do, mostly clothes. I still have what, 25 days until I leave? Ah, that late start. So much fun. That just means I have that much longer to work and save, and that all of you people that leave before me need to give me good advice and tell me what to expect, ok? :)
It seems like there are required posts (but not really) going around on my blogroll, which is fun, so I'll take my turn now.

Also, I'm just going to say family/friends are a given and don't count.

1. American Food. And by American, I actually probably mean Mexican. Americanized Mexican. I love Chipotle. If I could, I would probably eat there weekly. When I lived in Provo, I would drive the 30 minutes to the nearest Chipotle at least once a semester.

And there's also the chicken and beef I'm so used to. Having grown up in Kansas, fish isn't really a main staple of my diet. To be honest, I don't think I've ever cooked fish. I've eaten and I really like it, which is good, but I don't know how to cook it. So that'll be something fun for me to learn.

Oh, also, peanut butter and good cheese. Neither are easy to find or cheap.

2. Being Fluent in the Country's Language. I can (or could, at one point) speak Japanese, but it's not the same as being fluent. My kanji comprehension is very low at this point, and my vocabulary is no where near what it used to be. So just not being able to communicate with people is something I'll have to adjust to.

This could also fall in the category of not being fluent in the culture. I'm sure I'll make lots of Japanese faux pas, which I'm not so much looking forward to, but that's all part of the experience. Plus, my job is to speak English, which I can do, so it'll mostly be in my personal life where I'll have to worry about it.

3. Driving on the right side of the road. And my car. I've only had my car for a couple years, but it is my car, and I will miss it. My placement is a driving one, so I'm going to have to learn to drive on the left side and all that craziness, which will be interesting. I'm definitely taking my good driving charm, heh.

And...I can't really think of everything else. I'm not going to miss my current job. I don't have a place of my own right now, so that doesn't exist to miss. So yeah. I'll probably think of other things once I don't have them anymore, but I'm sure that'll be another topic for another day.